Project STEP Hires BU Alumna as Artistic Director

Project STEP (String Training Education Program) hires new Artistic Director, Jin-Kyung Joen (DMA ’09).

Jin-Kyung Joen, Artistic Director and violinist, has enjoyed a multi-faceted teaching and performing career on three continents. She has performed extensively as a member of I Filarmonici di Torino, Accademia Romana, I Soloisti Aquilani, and the Revere Piano Quartet, as well as a soloist in Italy, USA, Poland, Greece, and Korea. For the past twenty years, Joen has been a violin faculty member at the Preparatory Division of New England Conservatory. Her students have been top prize winners in regional and international competitions, including the Boston Symphony Orchestra Youth Competition, the Jin-for-homepage-sliderAlexander and Buono International Competition, and all levels of the New England Conservatory Concerto Competition. Previously, Joen served as the Focus Coordinator at Project STEP. In the summers, she has also been on the faculties of the Bosa Antica (Italy) International Music Festival, Foulger International Music Festival and the Killington Music Festival.

Joen holds a Doctor of Musical Arts from Boston University, an Artist Diploma from the Boston Conservatory, and a Bachelor of Music from the Conservatorio di Piacenza, Italy. She studied violin with Zinaida Gilels, Roman Totenberg, Pavel Vernikov, Ilya Grubert, and Mario Ferraris, and chamber music with Piero Farulli (Quartetto Italiano), Pasquale Pellegrino (I Musici), Ronald Feldman, members of Trio Tchaikovsky and the Lydian Quartet.

“I am very excited to rejoin Project STEP to work with expert faculty, talented students, a supportive board, and a dedicated team of staff. I wish to put all my experiences as a teacher, performer, and parent towards helping Project STEP students reach their full potential as musicians. I am looking forward to getting to know everyone in the Project STEP family and seeing our students strive for excellence!” – Jin-Kyung Joen


Project STEP is a leader among music organizations that is changing the face of the classical music profession. Recognizing that certain racial and ethnic minorities are vastly underrepresented in classical music, Project STEP’s mission is to address this imbalance by identifying musically talented children from underrepresented Boston and surrounding communities, providing them with comprehensive music and string instrument instruction. Setting the highest standards for its students, this kindergarten to college program provides mentoring and performance opportunities and creates a life-long network of support for students and their families. Students receive comprehensive training while simultaneously learning life-skills that provide them with the tools to flourish in their careers. Since Project STEP’s founding in1982, 100% of students who have graduated from the program have gone on to college or conservatory.

In 2014, Project STEP received the highest honor for an out-of-school program when it was presented with the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program award from the President’s Council on the Arts and Humanities. The award was presented to Project STEP in Washington, D.C. by First Lady Michelle Obama. Since this honor was bestowed upon the organization, STEP has seen tremendous growth in visibility and has been an advocate and avenue for change in the industry.

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